After the surprising release of Dustin Colquitt during the offseason, the Chiefs were left with finding someone to fill his shoes at the punter position. It looks like Tommy Townsend just wiped the competition as he is the last punter left, and special teams coach Dave Toub loves what he sees from new the Chiefs punter.
Tommy Townsend, an undrafted free agent from the University of Florida is in his rookie season and will have a big responsibility on his shoulders once the season begins in September. The expectations are quite high and the fans will not be willing to accept anything less than what Dustin Colquitt did for more than a decade in Kansas City.
However, the coaching staff thinks Townsend is ready. The young player has confidence and more than an ace up his sleeve. Coach Toub said he is consistent, athletic and he gets rid of the ball very quickly.
Townsend recorded a career-long 71-yard punt during his college years and has been well known for making off fake punts during games. It should be a lot of fun this season. However, Dave Toub seems to be focused on teaching basics to the young players instead of getting down with new tricks.
“We originally saw Tommy at the Combine and, Tommy, I felt he was the best punter at the Combine,” said Toub. “Had a draftable grade on him. Obviously he wasn’t drafted, so he was a guy we went after real strong and those guys did a great job of being able to get him in our building.”
“We don’t have less time at all, we have the same amount of time that we’ve always had.” said Toub ”In fact, the ramp-up period was really good because the ramp-up period allowed us to put in what we would normally do during the OTAs and those things. So, that was good time for us. Being able to teach fundamentals for those young guys is critical. Now, we’re getting into more of the team and the scheme stuff of it and now they put all those fundamentals together and we get to see what kind of football players these guys are.”
“Like I said, it’s unfortunate for those guys that there’s no preseason games, but we have to do the best we can in the team periods that we have to evaluate these guys in and make decisions. Now, the other guys are going to have a leg up. The guys that we’ve had before that are game-proven, those guys are going to have a leg up, and that’s just the way it is.”
Townsend evidently made Tyler Newsome, a very interesting young player from Notre Dame, disappear from the roster, but was already pretty clear the Chiefs were leaning towards Townsend to fill Colquitt’s shoes back in May.
In addition to working and talking immediately with his teammates Harrison Butker and James Winchester, Townsend participated in the Chiefs’ virtual rookie minicamp, working with Dave Toub and the rest of the coaching staff. This was an early indication the coaching staff really liked him.
The pandemic situation just threw off a lot of the original plans for the Chiefs, like the mini-competition they wanted to organize for the punter job. Instead, they had to make a quick choice and that’s what they did to go forward. Tommy Townsend will have to bring his A-game on and off the field to fill the huge shoes Duston Colquitt left in Kansas City.